How to Use 5S To Tidy Up Your Cleaners Cupboard

by Matt Besley on 09-12-2016

Cleaners Cupboard.jpg

Lean priciniples originated from Toyota in the 1970's, but the principles are now more relevant than ever before.  Everything has to work harder and be smarter.

What began in the automotive manufacturing industry all those years ago is now super-relevant to almost every industry.  It's also a great way of making your cleaners cupboard tidier and easier to manage. 

Imagine you could save 5 minutes a day - that's a massive 1825 minutes a year (over 30 hours)!

Here are the basics of the 5S principles that you can apply to your cleaners cupboard:

1 - Sort out

Determine what is needed, what can be stored elsewhere, and what can be disposed of

This is where it all starts, get the rubbish out of the cupboard, and get the place tidied up.  We all know cleaning cupboards are generally about 20 times smaller than they should be, but you have to work with the space you've got. 

Reducing the number of cleaning chemicals is a big one here, you should be able to free up a large amount of space by slimming down the number of products you use - download our checklist on reducing your chemicals.  If you are tight on space look at the Easy Dose chemical range - a 1L concentrate which will give you 100 trigger spray bottles.

If you need help with what is working, and what's not working, why not get someone in independent to review your processes and what you are using to make sure it is the best for what you are doing?

2 - Set in Order

A place for everything in it's place

Put everything in a set place, get some labels printed up, or even just mark the shelves with permenant marker with what should be in that place.  Get some tape and put this around each area so that you can see at a glance if anything is missing.  It's easy to see if something hasn't been returned at the end of the shift!

3 - Shine

Give it a thorough clean to set a new benchmark for cleanliness

Give your cupboard a proper clean-up, give the floor a really deep clean, and get into all the corners.  Clean the shelves and dust the cobwebs, your cleaning cupboard will never have felt so good!  Also it send a great message to your cleaning team of how you want the rest of the building to look.

4 - Standardise

Have standards and procedures to maintain the standard of the area.

One really good point here is to take photo's of the cupboard when you have implemented the above steps, and put them in a prominent location in the cupboard on the wall - this a great reminder to the rest of the team of how it should look every day.

5 - Sustain

Sustain the change through agreeing the process, and having regular checks

The last S and most difficult to do, you can quickly slip out of these habits, if you don't put measures in place to sustain the change!  Get your whole team on board (it will make their lives so much easier) and have regular checks. 

Why not task someone in the team (or even outside of the immediate cleaning team) to regularly check up and ensure that the cupboard is kept up to scratch.

The 5S framework is a great and proven system of ensuring you are working more efficiently, but it does take a bit of time to implement.  Look beyond this to the savings you will make - think about every time your cleaner can't find a trigger bottle, or every time the vacuum cleaner has come to be used and the tubes are missing, or the times when you need to do an emergency clean up and find you don't have anything you need to sort it out. 

Its important to remember that this isn't just a one off tidy up - this is a ongoing process to improve your organisation,

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